Παρασκευή, 14 Δεκεμβρίου 2012

Best Space Pictures of 2012


Helix Nebula

Image courtesy ESO
The intricate structure of the Helix Nebula, seen in January, is featured as one of National Geographic News editor's picks for the best space pictures of 2012. (See more nebula pictures.)

Nightly Swirl

Photograph by Alex Cherney, TWAN
A long-exposure picture—posted to the night-sky photography community The World at Night (TWAN) in November—captures the stars' nightly swirl while auroras set the horizon aglow over Australia's Mornington Peninsula.
Auroras are born when the sun sends charged particles, known as solar wind, speeding toward Earth's atmosphere, where they slam into oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the ionosphere above the planet's magnetic North and South Poles. The energy released by these collisions creates glowing colors some 60 to 620 miles (97 to 1,000 kilometers) aloft.

Southern Sky Show

Photograph courtesy NASA
From their vantage point high above Earth in March, astronauts on theInternational Space Station were able to capture daybreak (left) and nighttime auroras in a single frame.
Snapped over the Indian Ocean, the picture also shows a Russian Soyuz spacecraft (center) and a Progress resupply ship docked at the station.

Witch's Broom

Photograph courtesy Robert Franke, APOY/Royal Observatory
This image of a supernova remnant called the Witch's Broom received high commendation in the Deep Space category in the 2012 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, whose results were announced in September.
Taken by American Robert Franke, the picture shows scattering debris from a Milky Way star that exploded several thousand years ago. These cosmic filaments are part of the Veil Nebula, one of the largest supernova remnants in the sky. It lies some 1,400 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus.

Solar Fireworks

Image courtesy SDO/NASA
A type of solar explosion called a coronal mass ejection sent solar radiation out from the sun at 900 miles per second, as seen in an image released by NASA on September 17.
The sudden burst of radiation didn't collide with Earth, but it did hit our planet's magnetic field, producing illuminated auroras in the sky in some parts of the world.







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